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New Kind of Optical Storage could Last a Million Years

July 31, 2013 3:12 pm | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

A new kind of optical storage is being developed. With this new technology, a DVD-sized optical memory could hold 360 Terabytes, and the memory would be good for about a million years. Longevity and capacity are the key factors to consider in terms of data storage, but existing options are limited.

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FirstNet: Public Safety’s Tipping Point

July 25, 2013 10:45 am | by Dennis Martinez, Chief Technology Officer, Harris RF Communications Division | Comments

As FirstNet looks to set the framework to build out a nationwide network for first responders, and wireless broadband technology becomes increasingly pervasive, the use of wireless communication in public safety starts to mirror our own commercial experience.

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'Smart Diapers' Perform High-Tech Urinalysis

July 23, 2013 10:40 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Comments

Parents will try anything to ensure their baby’s health – even if that means scanning their infant’s backside with their smartphone. At least that’s the idea behind Pixie Scientific’s “Smart Diaper” concept, which transmits health data via QR codes.

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Now You See It, Now You Don’t

July 18, 2013 3:31 pm | by Meaghan Ziemba, Editor, WDD | Comments

If I didn’t recycle or throw them away in the trash, my old cell phones became the property of my daughter’s imagination. Old laptops found their way into Goodwill boxes, and my cassette players and portable cd players from high school are squirreled away in the corner of my closet.

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No Girls Allowed: 'Nerd' Stereotype Means Fewer Female Engineers

July 15, 2013 9:15 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor ECN | Comments

In 1972, women accounted for 3 percent of full-time science and engineering professors; by 1998, the number was at just 10 percent, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2010, the last year the NSF has data for, 51 percent of scientists and engineers working in science and engineering occupations were white males. Women made up just 28 percent of the total and minority women just 10 percent.

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Self-Healing Circuits: A Living Immune System for ICs

July 12, 2013 10:07 am | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

One of the challenges of working with integrated circuits is as designers try to make ICs faster, the transistors become smaller and can’t handle as much voltage and the amount of variation grows. Plus, a single fault in the IC could mean a useless chip, bringing projects and products to sudden jarring halt.

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The End-to-End Ethernet Success Story

July 2, 2013 9:10 am | by John D’Ambrosia and Bruce Kraemer | Comments

Ethernet — the fundamental backbone of networking worldwide — celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. This milestone, accomplished via a never-ending evolution of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet specification, enabled the development and deployment of technology that rose to meet the challenge of ever-changing market demands. 

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Capturing Lost Revenue: 5 Steps for Semiconductor Companies

June 12, 2013 3:16 pm | by Chanan Greenberg, senior director of business development at Model N Inc. | Comments

The global economy is on the upswing in 2013, which means semiconductor companies have a great opportunity to reap the benefits. According to analyst firm IHS, revenue is expected to grow 6.4 percent this year after two straight years of decline. As a result, semiconductor professionals are asking themselves two questions: How can we take advantage of this growth, however brief it might be? And what happens if the economy takes a plunge...

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Drones: The New Cold War

June 3, 2013 11:21 am | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor | Comments

One of the most hotly debated topics in politics has a direct vein into the engineering community, drones (the hottest debated topic, unless of course you’re talking about 3D printed guns). As recently reported by NBC News, a company known as Denel Dynamics, out of Pretoria, South Africa, is preparing to test armed drones, which it intends to sell to governments around the world.

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The Everyday Usefulness of SIPOC

May 31, 2013 9:13 am | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

The name “SIPOC” is an acronym for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers and it is a tool most of us with any process improvement experience or education have learned to use. It can be used very efficiently and effectively for other dilemmas as well and it doesn’t require us to summon a team and declare an event to use the logic to help us answer important questions.

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The Everyday Usefulness of the Problem Statement

May 28, 2013 5:33 pm | by Alan Nicol, Executive Member, AlanNicolSolutions | Comments

Last week I wrote about how our continuous improvement and process improvement tools and methods can be used any time and discussed the Parameter Diagram or P-diagram as an example. Let’s continue that thread and look at the ubiquitous usefulness of the problem statement.

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“Cloud” Signals Dark Days for Software Buyers

May 28, 2013 9:49 am | by Christopher Warner, Editor, ECN | Comments

The software industry is now making its predictable push toward fully cloud-based business models and leaving customer preference in the dustbin. Earlier this month, Adobe decided it will discontinue its Creative Suite product line and replace it with its Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a full subscription service.

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Fire Human Resources

May 24, 2013 10:06 am | by M. Simon, Technical Contributor | Comments

Management Consultant Dave Logan at CBS Moneywatch is warning companies to avoid falling in love with company policy. He talks about a company that wanted to hire a very disruptive genius. But HR said it wasn't possible because they had no job description for the function envisioned.

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The U.S. Market & Design for Test

May 23, 2013 4:10 pm | by W. Scott Fillebrown, President & CEO of ACD | Comments

Because many high-volume printed circuit assemblies are sent outside the United States, it is challenging to test the lower volume/high turnover assemblies domestically. But this does not need to be a problem — some simple planning and the right contract manufacturer (CM) can solve this issue.

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The Future of Google Glass

May 20, 2013 4:32 pm | by Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor | Comments

There has been a lot of talk about Google Glass lately, mostly due to the prototype debut, but one interesting aspect of that public viewing is that developers –outside of GoogleLand—can take a crack at coming up with interesting uses for the technology. By allowing new voices into the conversation, the world is seeing even more possibilities for Google Glass.

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